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Year 4 - Hawthorn

smiley Welcome to Hawthorn Class Page 2017/18  smiley


The children have had an energetic and enthusiastic start to the term already, and are clearly eager to embrace life as a Year 4.


Please visit this page as the year progresses for updates, and to find out a little more about what we have been learning about in class.


Communication, both to celebrate the good things and tackle any problems or concerns, plays a principal role in ensuring the very best education for your child. Parents/guardians, please do not hesitate to contact me on the school number, or via email:


Alternatively, feel free to arrange a meeting- or simply pop in for a brief chat.


Many thanks,

Mr Roycroft



Here it is! The last push before we reach the summer holidays. This week, the children will be rounding up a year of learning by challenging each other with arithmetic and reasoning problems through the design and creation of their own maths board games. So far, themes include Room 13, The Simpsons, WWE and more! Once the rules and instructions have been written by each creative genius, we will get a chance to test our knowledge of the Year 4 maths curriculum by playing each others' games.


Watch this space for photos of our finished products!



And so, we reach the end of our penultimate full week of school in Year 4. Just another week and a half to go! I have been incredibly proud of the children for not losing energy as we approach the end of an unusually long summer term. Monday through to Wednesday were transition days, during which each child got to experience time in their new classes with their new teachers. For Hawthorn class, this was slightly less of a change than for other children! We did, however, get to move across into the very spacious Year 5 classroom, which we liked very much. We felt older, smarter and wiser than ever. We all got very good vibes about next year!


Check out some snippets of one of our transition day activities below, in which we all shared some highlights from 2017/18. Shout out to the notorious 'Adam', who made a guest appearance in one too many highlights!


I have also shared some photos of our very exciting writing from this week- where we used our incredible skills to engage the reader as we took them on a rather spooky journey through the woods, inside a hotel and up the stairs towards the dreaded Room 13...



Despite the scorching heat and humid classroom conditions, the children have motored on and done themselves proud this week... especially considering a lot of it has been spent dancing around in preparation for our parts in Oliver! The Musical.


As well as singing and dancing, we have been developing our understanding of fractions even further in the approach to Year 5. We will certainly be hitting the ground running in September thanks to all of our hard work in the approach to Summer.


Great attitudes by all...only a few weeks left!



This week, we have been working on the concept of equivalent fractions in maths. I have been astounded at the deep understanding shown by the children this week. Here are some of my favourite examples of equivalence that the pupils came up with:


1/4 = 256/ 1024

2/5 = 400/1000


In English, we have been exploring a range of ways to engage the reader in our writing. We will be attempting to apply these skills on Monday, when we embark on a very exciting journey around the classroom and beyond...Check out our page next week for photos!


Oliver! Oliver!


The time of year has arrived for KS2 to rehearse for their end of year production. As you will be aware by now, the children are performing Oliver! The Musical. Please ensure you speak with your child about their role in the show, so that you can use the next two weeks to put a costume together!



This week, we have enjoyed a rather unorthodox timetable, consisting of a musical excursion and a day of sporting achievement alongside our usual routine. Well done to all of the children who took part in The Big Play at Leeds Town Hall. It truly was momentous occasion and all of our hard work in ukulele lessons shone through in the performance. An extra thanks to all parents who managed to attend the concert, or who made it our class assembly on Friday morning. Despite only having had a very brief rehearsal, the children received some lovely comments about their playing. 


Check out some of our pics below!


Shout out to Lotherton house who broke a longstanding trend by sprinting, skipping and 'spooning' their way to victory at Sports Day on Thursday. I was blown away by the positive attitudes and sportsmanship of all the children in Hawthorn Class and throughout school. 



The Big Play 2018



This week, we have embraced the start of the 2018 World Cup by having a World Cup theme in maths. We started off by exploring strategies for mental addition and subtraction, by solving a code breaker using various methods, to figure out what the hidden World Cup team was.


The next day, we practised our times tables fluency by being given a top trump card with a random World Cup team on. We then went outside and battled each other's teams! Check out our top trump cards below...


In Science, we learned about different forms of renewable and non-renewable energies, and we are very excited at the prospect of a visit from a certain biomass engineer... we have already heard lots about him in the past and it would be good to put a face to the stories!



Welcome back everybody! We have a cracking half term in store- we are exploring the wonderful city of Leeds in a range of different ways. We will be writing letters, exploring the role of councillors in our local area, planning another exciting science investigation, finalising elements of the Year 4 maths curriculum and much more!


This week, our maths work has centred around telling the time. We are determined to all become masters of this before year five, and we have all agreed to start checking the time more regularly throughout every day to help us improve. Parents- it is highly recommended to get a watch for your child to help with this! Some really cheap ones can be found on Amazon or at Argos.


Check out some photos below to see us playing a game of 'beat the teacher' with a class set of clocks...ask your child about it!





Well done everybody on a brilliant half term! We've had fun, we've laughed a lot, but at the core of it all we've learned more than we thought possible. Keep up your times tables and spelling practice over half term like we've agreed, and we will head into next half term fully prepared. But most of all... get plenty of rest!

Royal Wedding: 18.5.18

11.5.18- We are Writers!


The time is approaching for us to start to upload our wonderful writing online, ready for publication. This week, we have been learning about Roman soldiers and slaves, and explored creative poetry around the various things that we might find inside one of their pockets. We used sensory language and feelings to really paint a picture with words. This was followed closely by a whole day of Roman Gods and Goddesses. Did you know that the Romans took the Gods that the Ancient Greeks worshipped, and renamed them? 

26.4.18 - History Visit


This week, the children had the exciting opportunity to hear a run down of the Roman Empire from a true expert in the field. Our friendly visitor was brimming with knowledge on all things Roman, and we all walked away from the experience buzzing with enthusiasm. Check out the photos below to see us dress up as slaves, Roman citizens, musicians and even gladiators! We came back with all sorts of ideas for follow up activities in class this half term- and it certainly gave us some great ideas for our published history writing!



Welcome back!

I was blown away by the attitude in class when the children arrived on Monday- everyone was clearly well rested and ready for some solid work. We have hit the ground running this week with some extremely challenging maths, where the children applied their skills in addition and subtraction to some multi-step problems. We displayed some amazing writing this week, which is excellent news as we are all working towards becoming published authors by the end of this half term. Are we ready? Of course we are!

28.3.18- CD day!


The day has finally arrived- the children of Hawthorn class have officially become recording artists! We had an amazing time and the producer was blown away by our rendition of 'La Bamba' by Ritchie Valens. Be sure to order your copy of the album while stocks last!



What a busy week of maths! We have worked so incredibly hard to learn a short cut method for division which is sure to help us in life. After spending some time getting to grips with the concept of division earlier in the year, we were ready to learn the bus stop method. Have a look at the image below to see how we do it:

16.3.18 - Shakespeare Week


There has certainly been a thespian buzz around school this week as we embraced Shakespeare Week in style. We mainly focused on the use of Shakespearean language, including words and phrases coined by Shakespeare himself that are still used today!
We showed off our incredible acting skills in a video which we showed off in front of the school today.


Check out some of the screenshots below! 

11.3.18 - Check out our amazing pop-up Mother's Day cards!



Being the economical and environmentally-friendly class that we are, we refused to let the leftover chocolate go to waste. We mixed all 6 varieties in a bowl, melted it down, to create our very own invention which we aptly named 'The Barwick Big Mix'. We then moulded the chocolate into perfect segments and cooled it to demonstrate the process of reversible change...followed by a taster session the next day!

We were all in agreement that our creation was beyond delicious. So much so that we may be making some more in the very near future!


Watch this space!

Introducing... The Barwick Big Mix!



The long awaited Science lessons on melting chocolate finally came around this week!

The aim: To find out which chocolate bar would be the best one to bring to the desert.

The investigatory question: If I change the 'type of bar', what will happen to the 'time taken to melt'?


The winner will be revealed very soon, but in the meantime, check out some photos of our investigation below. We planned a very thorough experiment which involved weighing the chocolate to precisely 30 grams and using stopwatches to ensure a completely fair test.


Thanks to the kitchen staff for letting us borrow their heating tray again!

2.3.18 - Snow week!


Brrrrrr! The 'Beast from the East' has held us firmly in its wintery grasp as we are forced to call off school for two whole days! I hope everybody managed to make the most of the (unusually powdery) snow, and have fun building snowmen and spending time with family.


To make the most of the fun in the snow, we turned a real life event into a moment of creativity, creating fictional storyboards based on our snow days on Wednesday and Thursday. We explored the dark truth behind what really caused the flash weather, and heard tales of aliens, monsters and colossal meteorites!


Have a look at some of our creative ideas below :)



Welcome back everybody! What a bunch of refreshed children we had in class today. Clearly the week off was a restful one for many- now back to business! Check out some photos of our fraction museum exhibits we did at the very end of the half term- we analysed each others' work today to show off our understanding of fractions. See if you can figure out what any of the mystery exhibits might represent!




With the much-anticipated 500 word competition looming, we have been taking on the roles of judges and evaluating the stories of previous competition winners. Just like the real judges do every year, we judged each story on the following five criteria:


1. Originality

2. Plot

3. Characterisation

4. Language

5. Enjoyment


We definitely had a few Simon Cowells amongst the judging panel- clearly the standards are very high and I'm sure our own stories will reflect that :) The children are now filled with inspiration and itching to get started with their story plans next week!




Fractions, fractions, fractions!

Though it is a feeling of dread for many children (and teachers) to begin a unit in fractions, it has been quite the opposite in Hawthorn class this week! The children have worked incredibly hard to master their understanding of fractions, and applied their knowledge to find fractions of quantities...including some very complicated maths!


26.1.18 - Desert Dioramas


Using a variety of materials, the children utilised the 'create' element of our Bloom's thinking skills through the creation of desert dioramas. With no input whatsoever, the children demonstrated their knowledge and understanding of a desert environment while showing off their creative arts and crafts skills. Some of them even made their way on to the door!

26.1.18 - Desert Reports




This week, we have been building up towards writing non chronological reports on deserts. Watch this space to see some of our amazing work- it will blow your mind!



We are becoming masters of multiplication at the moment, and we have learned a short cut method for multiplying much larger numbers. We have used this knowledge to spot the mistakes of other children (see below).


Why not ask us about it so we can show off what we know?

12.1.18- What's The Matter?


This week we have been learning all about States of Matter. We have sorted various real life items into solids, liquids or gases and even explored particle diagrams in detail.


We finished the learning off by using Cheerios to represent particle diagrams! Check out some of our amazing work below:




Happy New Year!!!


It was great to have everybody back so fresh-faced and full of energy. It seems that a great Christmas was had by all, and we certainly started the term as we intend to go on. It would appear that everyone has returned with their Maths and English skills still in tact: I have a feeling it will be a very productive term :)


Don't forget to check out our new homework pyramid in the 'Homework' section!



Well done to all children for a fantastic half term. Rounded off by a brilliant class assembly which they managed to nail even with such little time to practice- great projection and acting skills all round. Time for a well-earned rest so that we can hit the ground running in early January. See you all soon!

While Miss Goodison was constructing a life-size scientist for our hall display, we capitalised on an interesting learning opportunity: the fabric of the bean bag had charged the styrofoam balls, and when we placed our hands inside the bag, we got to see 'static cling' in action. This is when static electricity causes lighter objects to 'stick' to other objects. Apologies to Mr Hough for the mess!


Still image for this video





This week in maths, we have continued to master our understanding of division, focusing on a method which helps us to divide by grouping. For example, when dividing 24 by 4, we explored how many 'groups of 4' could be made, and we did this using addition on a number line. We learned a 'cheat code' for dividing much larger numbers using the same method, by chunking 10 or 20 lots of each number, as shown in the example below:




This week, we were all very eager to write our desert island diary entries, and on Friday- we did just that! When they are all marked, we will display them on the website, so watch this space!

This week, as part of our Citizenship/ PSHE learning, the children got the chance to see a slightly younger Mr Roycroft getting taken away in a police car! We used an educational resource that was developed by myself and a group of friends back in secondary school, which is used in schools around the UK to teach about the consequences of anti-social behaviour. The children found it very funny to see their teacher in big trouble, though of course this would never be the case in real life...


Have a look at some snapshots below:


Still image for this video

17.11.17 - Children in Need: Biscuits, buns and bakes while we work!



This week in English, we have become masters of opening our sentences in a variety of ways! We have learned a trick method involving things called EDINGLY openers, which are words ending in either 'ed', 'ing' or 'ly'. Here are some of the fantastic sentences that we came up with:


"Heart beating excitedly, the boy felt happy that he had some company" - Millie C


"Nervously, I crept towards the unfamiliar noise that was getting louder in my ears" - Edward L


"Running up to the treehouse, the monkey showed me his wooden cups and bowls" - Lily N




This week in maths we began by learning how to divide numbers by 10 mentally, including decimals. We then went on to explore division of numbers by 10, 100 and even 1000. We learnt about decimal places up to thousandths, and we decided that sharing a whole pizza into a thousand little pieces would leave us very hungry. Unless of course it was a giant pizza, as Latrell cleverly pointed out. And he was absolutely right- when you divide a very large number by 1000, the answer will not necessarily be small. We also explored division using arrays, which helped us to visually understand the concept of division. This was much easier when it was familiar times tables, but hard when we looked at bigger numbers, like in the example below:





This week in maths we focused on multiplying numbers by 10, 100 and 1000 mentally. We learned that you don't simply 'add a zero', but that the zero is there as a placeholder because each number has moved one place to the left (each move to the left increases the number by one power of 10). We really managed to grasp this very difficult concept, and finished the week off with a paired challenge!




This week in English, we have become masters of the subordinate clause. We first learned to use a subordinate clause to extend a sentence, then we used them as fronted adverbials. Once we had mastered this skill, we practises using them in the middle of sentences as an embedded subordinate clause...this was the tricky part! To round the week off, we made informative posters about subordinate clauses to help a younger child learn what they are, and how to correctly use them in sentences.





This week in maths we have explored doubling and halving numbers in detail. We are also learning to become masters of telling the time, by practising it before every lesson- little and often is the key!




This week in English we composed some wonderful biographies about the infamous Highwayman- Dick Turpin. It was great to see the children applying some of the skills learnt in class into their own writing. Here are some extracts of their fabulous work:


"Several newspapers suggested, on the 6th and 7th of May, that the Essex gang were robbing farmhouses in Epping" - George


"After that, he went to join the Essex gang and said "Stand and deliver, your money or your life!" - Jayden


"When he went away, he joined a gang called the Essex Gang. They went into different houses and tortured the inhabitants, so they would give them their riches." - Lilly BD






This week in maths we have been arranging 2D shapes by their properties. We have learned about vertical, horizontal and parallel lines, alongside a range of 2D shapes- including quadrilaterals. We looked briefly at angles and will be looking into them in great depth next half term.





This week in English, we explored a range of SPAG elements while practising some advanced drama techniques. This was all in preparation for the class presentation at assembly on Friday. We hope you are able to make it!







This week we have been exploring the notorious Highwayman: Dick Turpin. We used iPads to access an information file stored on the cloud, and used this alongside our own research to build a fact file. We realised this was just like a biography, but presented in a slightly different layout.

After learning all about the digestive system, we put together our very own demonstration using the following apparatus:

(the words in brackets show what each part represents)

  • large tins (the body)
  • Bread and banana (food)
  • paper cups 
  • a ziplock bag (the stomach)
  • a pair of tights (the intestines)
  • orange juice (hydrochloric acid) and
  • water (saliva)


It was a very messy experience which some of us absolutely loved, though not all of us :)

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